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Total completes sale of North Sea assets

Energy company Total has successfully finalised the sale of oil and gas assets on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) to Neo Energy, which was created last year with the backing of HitecVision, a private equity house in Norway.

The sale includes operated assets in the Affleck, Balloch, Cawdor, Drumtochty, Lochranza, Dumbarton, and Flyndre fields, as well as non-operated interests in the Cnooc-operated Golden Eagle, Scott, and Telford fields.

Total, which makes industrial products like hydraulic oil, bought the fields from Maersk Oil in 2018. It originally agreed to resell them to a joint venture involving Oman-based Petrogas and Neo E&P, a precursor to Neo Energy.

When PetroGas pulled out of the deal in May, Neo continued to pursue the acquisition under revised terms, possibly at a lower cost than the £485m agreed in the original deal.

Neo’s interim chief executive and chief operating officer, Paul Harris, said:

“The expeditious completion of this transaction is a major milestone for Neo Energy as we build a next generation North Sea operator. I am extremely excited by the quality of both the asset portfolio and the group of over 60 outstanding professionals we have assembled.”

He also pointed out the speed at which Neo had become a leading independent player on the UKCS, with its significant production base and opportunities for development providing a sound platform upon which to grow sustainably.

Equinor’s current head of finance, Russell Alton, is set to take over as the permanent CEO of Neo at the end of August.

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